Photo school: Light trails

13 08 2008

Today’s photo class is on light trails – those streaks of light across photos caused by headlights or taillights.

The quick answer, of course, is that it’s time lapse photography: in the simplest situation the shutter stays open while the light from a single headlight or taillight – or cell phone display, flash light or other light source – moves along the road or is waved in some other pattern, leaving a streak of light on the film or digital receptors.

But, while the basic concept is simple, the practical aspects of the task, the execution, is more complicated. Fortunately, we have a primer in this comprehensive how-to article on making light trail photos.




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